We were alerted to a weird kerfuffle over a paper proposing to psychoanalyze climate skeptics as dangerous lunatics that appeared, was then retracted, then mutated and was republished with the usual safety-in-numbers crowd of authors, this time 14 including Michael Mann, bearing the can’t-make-this-stuff-up title “Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy”. It made the twisted claim that “By denying the impacts of [anthropogenic global warming] AGW on polar bears, bloggers aim to cast doubt on other established ecological consequences of AGW, aggravating the consensus gap.” The authors don’t dispute that Ursus maritimus seem to be doing just fine since their numbers are growing. Only that scientists should all claim it’s not happening lest the truth sow doubt about all the other alarmist cackle. This paper, incredibly, was republished in Bioscience and after being hammered by critics (including Judith Curry calling it “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published”) was finally very timidly corrected in… a different Oxford University Press journal altogether, Neurosurgery. In case it all makes your brain hurt, we suppose.
Then there’s Environment Canada closing Arctic weather monitoring stations while making increasingly hysterical pronouncements about what they’d be detecting if they were still there. Data is for clods with both feet firmly stuck on the ground. And you don’t know if you’re in the presence of satire or demented reality when you read that:
“A statue of a polar bear urinating into a Dutch canal will no longer pass water at night after noise complaints from nearby sleep-deprived residents. The giant ‘p----d off’ bear, erected to highlight the effects of climate change, had urinated every three minutes, 24 hours a day, before its neighbours complained the flow made too much noise…. Higher temperatures caused by climate change have melted the ice caps and shrunk the habitats of polar bears, becoming a symbol of global warming.”
Except for the bit where they’re not threatened. But it no longer matters that your symbol does not reflect real real when the whole point is to reflect alarmist real.
Or take the BBC, taken to task by Net Zero Watch because in December 2021 it said “The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season has now officially ended, and it’s been the third most active on record” when in fact “There were seven Atlantic hurricanes in 2021, and since 1851 there have been 32 years with a higher count.” Even though we’re now better at spotting them what with satellites and all. The Net Zero report highlights all sorts of equally absurd claims by the Beeb from a third of Pakistan being completely submerged in 2022 to claiming heat pumps were cheaper than gas boilers, which it took 16 months to admit was nonsense.
If we “deniers” talked like this, our credibility would be in a heap of trouble. People would say we exaggerated hysterically when we weren’t just making stuff up, and stonewalled when caught. But when you get to just imagine world peace or no religion, or no net emissions, the rules are different.